common sense really ain't that common...

So I am at a stop light with this guy and I just have to pull out my camera. We are at a major intersection - no 25 MPH here. I realize it is warm out already and I imagine it is pretty hot under that helmet but does one really wear shorts to compensate for the heat overload?

I had to laugh because I think this is how many of us do life on an everyday basis. We see the benefit of protecting parts of ourselves but completely miss the boat, in other areas of same said life.

Common sense is vital to our lives, I am throughly convinced and those who lack it truly are handicapped. Common sense can take you places that higher education can't even get close to. With me, there is never a question of which road to take, CS is the only way for me. Even in a setting, like a medical office where more expertise could be helpful - if I perceive a lack of common sense, I am out of there. I have lived too many horror Stories to trust the medical community. I am following a blog now that just has confirmed that not much has changed. Nurses don't read charts, have no idea which patient they are treating and have no qualms about not double checking charts to make sure. This is not about education or a degree - it's about common sense and for us, to know when to run away.

There are other Stories this week that come with the same danger. One in the education field, several in the food industry. The lack of common sense shows no favoritism, and is an equal opportunity sense - available to all, just for the taking.

Enjoy this last holiday weekend of the summer. Hope you have some great summer fun! Don't forget the sunscreen and some common sense - you are going to need them both...


There are firsts in every season of life. Some, like kindergarten, are firsts that most of us share and being the humans that we are, we try to spread knowledge Love that we have acquired. When we are little and just starting to experiencing new firsts, we are less likely to listen. This is not the time to being open to encouragement and reassurances - we are in definite panic mode.

As we get older, the firsts become tougher. sometimes overwhelming to handle. When the firsts come for me now, they hold a bit more surprise and a little bit of joy. I realized a while back when all parents and in-laws were gone and now I had moved up a generation, there were still some firsts I will never experience in this life.

I will never be a young widow.
I will never lose my child during childbirth.
I will not die before I am 30.

These were all fears I believed could and more than likely, would happen. This last week reminded me that even after 30 some years of walking with Christ, there are still Jesus firsts, coming my way. Wow.

Another first, I bought and delivered my first Christmas presents. It sounds weird but when you see the whole picture, it makes perfect, perfect sense.

Adult onset allergies has been added to my firsts. Yesterday, I mowed the lawn with a blue mask on my face. I wanted to wear my sunglasses but thought I would resemble a terrorist so bagged that idea. I didn't want to wear the mask. Kids were just coming home from school but after a while, it was ok. Funny, never saw that one coming.

It is Day 3 and Gage is still asking if he has to go everyday to Kindergarten. Godd thing it is a short week and we will have some time to fill in some of the blanks for him this weekend. He is in the process of trying to understand why some kids don't follow the rules and he wants to go straight to the principal and bypass the over worked teacher.

Nothing quite like a first. It can be a time of renewal and confusion. It can be a source of awe and overwhelming. I can't wait until my next one!


When I wrote the last post, I had no plan to take some time off before I started typing. Two hours after that post, it became very apparent that taking this time off was not my idea and that I was in for quite a ride.

It started with a video that I have had for over 6 months but never watched. IMHO, everyone should watch Rob Bell's, Everything is Spiritual. I have seen it four times and plan to watch it again. I was in the middle of watching it when I got a phone call asking for prayer. I don't think it was a coincidence.

There were 2 deaths during the week, one was my internet friend Baldy. Someone I had never met but became part of his Story. The other was a friend of over 35 years. I knew she had been ill and while I haven't seen her in a long while, our last conversation revolved around both of us becoming Jesus believers and how amazing that was. We both shared the same babysitter many years ago, her son and my girl. We worked swing shift and would drop our babies at the kind, older woman's house and pick them up at midnite. One night, we knocked and knocked at the baby sitter's door and she didn't answer. We tried the front door and it was unlocked - a vodka bottle on the coffee table, a passed out babysitter and both of our kids awake. We grabbed our babies and ran out. The baby sitter called the next morning and begged for a second chance and as you can imagine, that didn't happen.

I didn't know I would need this time to rest, just rest. As Rob Bell, pointed out - even God ended His week in Genesis with rest. I tried to limit my creativity - to just stop and rest. It was tough and I did stop until this picture of Morgan on Friday. With a wedding reception on Saturday, there were more pictures. Hard to sit on these and not play.

School started Monday. Keaton was ready to us to let him go into his class himself. He is turning into such a big boy. Gage was a little apprehensive about Kindergarten but went back again today. Months ago, we bought tickets to a Bill Gaither concert which turned on to be, on the first day of school. Keaton, Aunt Bebe and I went several years ago and made a pact that if BG came back, we would all go. We added Grandma S and mommy to the party and walked out 3 hours and 45 minutes later, full of Jesus and His Love. I can still hear those harmonies in my head. What a way to end this magnificent time.

The bottom line - God is so much bigger than anything I can think up, imagine or realize. It is not about living with your head up on the clouds but understanding that as humans we use our finite brain to figure out things we have no comprehension of and making choices based on those thoughts. I walk away from this time of rest, a new person. I plan to make this time of rest, a habit. I see the value of making this a part of my life. Not sure what it will look like for me - we will see. Thank you Jesus, thank you...

Step of faith...

Most everything I have learned about faith has come from Indiana Jones. I play this scene in my head everyday - everytime I think about faith and what it really looks like. This is faith - pure and simple... and a bit scary.

Little bit of everything going on next week and I need a staycation. We all need times to clear our heads, time to refocus. With only a week before school starts and a birthday, concert and other fun things coming up next. week, I am hoping to refresh and recharge.

Will back back on Tuesday, August 26. Will think of you till we meet again...xo me


You can't leave your TV on for long without being told that if you used this medicine or that procedure that you may be entitled to a monetary compensation. I have seen a hundred of them and haven't qualified for any of them. Perhaps I don't get around enough in the medical world - I admit, they scare me. I have been mostly exposed to the hunt and peck method of modern medicine and when it comes to medical matters, I am somewhat, gun shy.

Compensation (kom'pen sat)
1. to counter balance, to be an equivalent, make amends, or produce equilibrium

We live in a world that values compensation. Any way to make an extra dime. 15 years ago, I was on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit filed by women at the company I worked for. Didn't know a thing about it until I got a letter in the mail. Deciding that if I got enough to buy pizza for the family, imagine my surprise when I walked away with $9000.

We all have those times in our lives when we think life isn't fair - and it isn't. The sooner one learns that, the better off one is. I don't remember thinking that when I was growing up, I was too busy trying to find a way out. It has been in the last the last 15 years than it has occurred to me, that in a very real way, God has compensated me with the second part of my life ...for the first part of my life.

If everything falls apart today, I would still think the same. Watching the boys last night reminded me once again of that great Compensation. They watched the cool skateboarders do all their tricks and then listened with one gave his testimony on the saving Grace of Jesus. Compensation is not always monetary, we need to broaden the View and see all the counterbalance that is really there for the taking. Need equilibrium? Just look up...

I live for...

these moments.

Taking my boys to watch skateboarders that will later speak the words of God. There can be no greater moments to live for. For the skate team, I imagine they would agree.

These everyday moments when life takes you pass what you imagine it to be into the world of Him. In the last places you would ever look, wonder what else you might be missing? I do.


"How does your life compare to the plans, dreams, and expectations you had ten, twenty years ago?"

That is how many responses PW has received as of this morning, to her post of nearly a month ago. 1000 is how many I have read so far. No, not all at once. Usually 100 at a time. You can't take in much more info than that. There are times I just have to stop. The Stories are as varied as we are...and as similar.

PW's people have poured their hearts out. Stories that are raw and honest. Stories of dreams lost - never getting married or having children. Stories of loss - death, divorce and dreams. Many have more than they ever expected. Lives they never would have pursued but while the opposite of what they thought they wanted, turned out to be exactly what they wanted.

Depending on your season of life, a lot can happen in a short period of time. I didn't respond to her question then but have been thinking about my own Story and this is what it looks like...

56 - ten years ago, I had lost my job of 25 years and quit a job of 5 months. I went home to start my retirement early. Two months after starting that retirement, I found out I was going to be a nana. I started a pregnancy journal for my girl - and document every doctor appointment, took photos and kept a running update on names and name changes. The journal ended when Keaton was born and went home. Then, I kept a photo journal of his first year through his first birthday party. I did the same for Gage and Morgan. I didn't know what being a nana would look like but I could never imagined it like this. Always with a camera close by, my life looks nothing like I could ever imagined.

56 - 20 years ago, Brandi was a junior in high school and I had a job that I was always trying to get away from. The only good thing about working is 8 hours of free toilet paper. I had a good job, I just hated working. Still do. I am happiest at home listening to the hum of the dishwasher. There was no joy in finding a $25,000 error in an inventory mistake by the accounting dept who didn't want to be questioned, least of all - by me. I couldn't see a way out. I had to stay until I was 55 to get my full retirement and that was a long way away.

So here I am. My retirement did start last year at a tenth of what I would have got had I stayed. I was the first one to leave in my department and the whole plant shut down around my 54th birthday which would really have made me mad. My plans didn't pan out but the life I have been given is so much more than I could ever have imagined.

I would encourage you to check out some or all of these Stories. It will make you reflect on yoru own life and maybe even, help. Isn't it a great thing that we only think we are in charge. That we think we are the boss of us. Life is full of ups and downs, not of us are exempt but what we do with what we are given, makes all the difference...


Lots and lots and lots of them last week...

Some good and some not so good. Some spoken to me, some by me and some secondhand. some that were mean and rude - some that were untrue, some that mocked God and some that were so wonderful, I wanted to cry.

We all have people in our life that are can be difficult ( thank you, you know who you are) and we usually let them get away with their words, maybe because it is easier than confronting them. I confronted someone this week and made them apologize for rude behavior. They did...Several times. Maybe it is not so hard after all and just maybe, by holding them accountable, they learn something too.

I heard words about God spoken in earnest that were dead wrong. God and slot machine should never be in the same sentence. More people have left the church because those who claim Him, instead of showing people where the water is - take it upon themselves to be the water. Years ago when my sister had 2 brain surgeries in less than a week, good church people and after they prayed with us told us it was our fault she had to have the surgeries because if we had been really praying, she would have been cured. Those who distort the Gospel whether thru negligence or on purpose make an old tape play over and over in my brain and not in a good way.

I would like to say that I had an equal amount of wonderful words this week but life doesn't work that way. The good words I had were great and maybe it is about quality not quantity. I had a great email discussions with a digi designer yesterday. she had given me a lovely gift certificate for her store but we couldn't get it to work. Finally figure it out after 6 emails and 24 hours. What a great time we had.

The highlight of my week had to do with my next door Neighbor. He had seen my gk in the yard but Thursday night, we were all out in the yard. While poppa shovled extra rock that Neighbor had gracious shared with us in our island, Neighbor decided to introduce himself to each one of them. First the boys, Gage LOVED him. They share birthdays just a few days apart. He asked permission to shake both boys hands as he asked their names. Firm handshakes, the boys loved it. Then he took off his hat, and shook Morgan's hand as he said her name so very gentle. I wanted to cry. I haven't seen a man take off his hat for a woman, no less a three year old, in a long, long time. Something I never would have expected from Neighbor. Shows you what I know.

It is Neighbor's birthday next Saturday and we have been invited. He always warns us of his loud and out of control parties. He acknowledges them and makes no bones about them. He said he will escort us into the backyard and hsi guests will give us the respect we are due ( not sure what that means exactly) No gifts but a Budweiser would be greatly appreciated.

We all throw around words most moments of everyday. Sometimes we are careful about them, sometimes not. Sometimes we say what we want to say and damn everyone else. Sometimes we are gentle. I could have taken a few less words this week but I wouldn't have traded the good for all the bad and even more bad. It just makes me aware of thw only words I can do anything about. My own...

free concert download ...

If you haven't heard Phil Wickham sing, you are missing out. The download will be at his site tomorrow, Enjoy...

dead run...

Have spent most of the week on a dead run. More school shopping, a family shoot and helping my BIL buy a new computer, digital camera, external hard drive and iPod. We brought him and my sister into the digital age in about 3 hours of shopping. In between shopping, I have been moving all their stuff and my sister's iTunes music from the old to new computer. There will have to be some more tutoring - not sure my BIL has the Craig's List thing down. It is a lot to take in all at once and when you are digitally challenged, even more so.

Despite the hectic schedule, there have been two blogs I have been checking in on throughout each day. Baldy's Blog is about Mr Adrian who is literally dying as we speak. No more herotic actions. He is a young man with 2 forms of leukimia that have ravished his body. He had a gentleman's bet with one of his medical people whether he would live through the end of last week. He won that bet. He has said his goodbyes to family and friends and now we wait and pray.

MCK's momma is in the hospital with baby Stellan - his fate unknown from minute to minute. As Mrs My Charming Kids shares the up and downs of being in the hospital. she also shares her strong faith. She truly wears her faith on her sleeve.

The third family that has been on my mind this week is Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman. They made their first public appearance on GMA today along with their kids including Will Franklin who tragically ran over his little sister. His words show a boy who is starting to accept what has happened. He is surrounded by Love and better yet, he know it and is embracing it. The whole family will be on Larry King tonight, you might want to see their faith in action.

While it would appear that I am running from task to task, these precious moments that I take to check in on my people help me to slow down. I don't know what life will look like on Monday for my peeps but I don't know what might happen in my life either. We pray, we hope and we exercise our faith like crazy. After all, He is the One who introduced us to this Crazy Love. We play it out and try our best to follow Him. That is all He has ever asked for...

Joe Cool...

Ok, not his REAL name but Kim, he should look very familiar. BTW, your family rocks! Had a great time taking pictures of Joe and his lovely family. They spent part of Joe's last evening taking family pictures before he heads back to California. They were an absolute delight and pretty darn cute to boot.

I have had my own share of Joe Cool moments. No, really. We all have. Those days when either our hair did exactly what we wanted or for some reason, the hind end looks a bit smaller. We stopped at a McDonald's last year coming back from The Lagoon and they had this special mirror. Brandi and I refused to get back in the car - we were there to stay. We both felt like we looked so good. We wanted to know where we could get these for home. Having a bad day? Just stand in front of the mirror for 15 seconds and the troubles of the day would just melt away.

Maybe I should grab my sunglasses and ask Mrs D to take a few pictures. Wonder if that would do it. It wouldn't be anything like the mirror but it may satisfy the very human need to be cool. Deny it all you want but every once in a while, each of us wants to be... a little cool.

back to basics...

School starts in three weeks for us and fall is on its way. We did a little school shopping last week. Shirts are pretty easy to buy early on but because these guys are growing like weeds every day, we waited to buy pants until now and we will wait even longer to buy shoes, like 10 minutes before they actually put them on and head out the door.

The theme is always the same - maybe a little variation but not much. Back to the basics and I think we humans need that reminder for life too. We all get caught up in life and forget that that life we are so desperately chasing is built on more than a few building blocks.

That is why a few things in the news have made me crazy lately. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie accepting $14 million dollars from People magazine for pictures of their twins. It is not about them donating it to charity, it is about raising the bar so incredibly high for an inappropriate value. Not much of sports girl but I felt the same way last week when Brett Farve was offered $20 million dollars - not to play. It is like paying farmers not to grow crops. Now with Ethanol taking food out of our mouths, it seems like we have forgotten all about back to basics.

We each have to walk the journey we have been given. Tomorrow Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman will be on GMA to tell their Story and share their faith with the world. On Thursday, they will be on Larry King to share again. I would imagine that since they lost Maria and help Will Franklin that they started their own personal Back to Basics tour the fateful day back in May.

For me, going Back is always a way to regroup and refresh. What is working and what is not. Where am I relying on too much or too little. What do I know to be true and do I still know it. Maybe a little hopscotch might clear my head - might just give that a try...

mamma mia...

Sweeter the second time around - maybe or maybe it's something else. Maybe because it was Meryl Streep. Maybe because she is 59 and YOU WOULD NEVER GUESS IT. I have see it twice and the soundtrack is loaded on my iTunes. I read a bit about her doing this part today and found out she was a little scared. She had seen the play and even sent the cast a note saying she would love to sing with them or it could be because she said her 20 something kids would die of embarrassment when they saw her dance - that alone, would be worth it!

She did the splits - no stunt double was used. Maybe 59 is the new 30 or maybe it was because she worked out more than usual for the part. She had to scale a wall while singing. She said it was lots of fun but also lots of work.

Villa Donna was a marvelous place and I found myself thinking about painting my house baby blue. I have never owned a Abba album but know all the songs - how could you not?

I think we should recreate the Dancing Queen dance at the next wedding we go to (Look out Miss S!). We are going to a bridal shower tonight - maybe we should mention to the bride that we are avaiable...or not.

twenty five dollars...

2 weeks ago - first day of swim lessons.

Me - Gage, if you go down the slide this year, I will give you five dollars.

Gage - seven dollars

Me - ok, seven dollars and twenty five dollars if you go down the high dive.

I had already made a five dollar deal with Morgan. She was highly confident about going down the slide. If I was a betting woman, this was the one I thought I would have to pay off. Although Gage LOVES money, he is not one to be pushed into anything. He is like his nana, loves a sure thing.

Keaton had been listening to our highly charged negotiations and wanted a piece of the the action so I told him, twenty five dollars if you go down the high dive. I didn't stop to count up how much I would be out and not sure how to explain to poppa that he would be eating mac and cheese for the week because I didn't exactly budget for the potential thirty seven dollar bill I might have to pay.

The first Friday went pretty well went as I expected except for Miss M. She was so confident all week about going down the slide and when she got there and looked up, she was done. It looked like her slide days were over. The boys stayed away and the money prize was the farthest thing from their mind.

The second Friday was the final day of swim lessons and it was Fun Friday and the last day to take nana up on her offer. All classes played with the dreaded, potential jumping at the end.

Miss M got this far and came right back down. She was no longer interested.

Gage had an inner war going on with himself the whole time - he didn't want to miss out on cash but just couldn't bring himself to slide down.

I was sure Keaton wasn't going to take me up on my offer. After everyone had gone one round of jumping, here he comes. He starts climbing up the ladder and is really, really thinking about it. Later, I would later ask him what made him jump? what was he thinking?

He replied, Twenty five dollars.